The athlete was convicted of protesting against the government and charged under torture with murder.
By N. Hernández / Agencies | Sep 14, 2020- 11:42
The European Union on Monday condemned “in the strongest terms” the execution on Saturday of the young fighter Iranian Navid Afkari, charged with the murder of a security agent during an anti-government protest in 2018.
“The European Union condemns this execution in the strongest terms,” European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said in a note.
According to the note, the EU “opposes the death penalty in any case and circumstance, without exception. It is a cruel and inhuman sanction, which is not an element of restraint and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity ”.
Afkari’s execution caused a wave of commotion in the sports arena. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had come on Saturday to publicly ask for clemency for the 27-year-old athlete.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted on Twitter that Afkari’s execution was “a cruel and violent act.”
According to the Iranian judicial authority, Afkari was convicted of “voluntary murder” of an official of the Shiraz public water company, who was stabbed to death on August 2, 2018.
In addition to his execution, the last message he gave before he died has shocked the world:
“I was about to turn 25 with empty pockets and I was forced to put wrestling aside to help support my family. In the family in which I grew up, I learned from childhood that the honor and dignity of a loved one like my mother takes precedence over all my personal wishes and aspirations.
We were always taught to sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones, so I got a job and after six or seven months working as a laborer, I was arrested, in September 2018, and now I’m on death row.
I want the whole world to know that since I was a child I only wanted to make my mother happy with international achievements in wrestling. But what could I do? The force of the wheel of time overcame the sweat I shed in the fight and made my mother cry.
But now I am happy because the same wheel of time has turned again and I have learned the true ideals of humanity thanks to you, the unique people. These ideals are much more valuable and superior to me than the international wrestling sports championships.
During the years that I wrestled I never faced an opponent who played dirty because sports wrestling is a sport of honor. But for the last two years my family and I have been facing the most cowardly adversary in the history of humanity: injustice. And without a doubt, if we cannot count on your support and help, we will all fail ”, he concluded.